Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Narcism, Psalms 33, Matthew 25:1-13, St. Raymond Nonnatus, Mercedarians - Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy

Friday, August 31, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 
Narcism, Psalms 33, Matthew 25:1-13, St. Raymond Nonnatus, Mercedarians - Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7..

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our Spirit...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012



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Today's Word:  narcism   nar·cism [nahr-suh-siz-em]


Origin:  1815–25;  < German Narzissismus. See narcissus, -ism

noun
1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.
2. Psychoanalysis . erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
 
 
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Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 10, 11

 
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from the honest.
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on the ten-stringed lyre.
4 The word of Yahweh is straightforward, all he does springs from his constancy.
5 He loves uprightness and justice; the faithful love of Yahweh fills the earth.
10 Yahweh thwarts the plans of nations, frustrates the counsels of peoples;
11 but Yahweh's own plan stands firm for ever, his heart's counsel from age to age.



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Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 25:1-13


 
Jesus said to his disciples: “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like this: Ten wedding attendants took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones, though they took their lamps, took no oil with them, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “Look! The bridegroom! Go out and meet him”. Then all those wedding attendants woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other attendants arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us.” But He replied, “In truth I tell you I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.
 
 
Reflection
• Matthew 25, 1ª: The beginning: “At that time”. The parable begins with these two words: “At that time”. It is a question of the coming of the Son of Man (cfr. Mt 24, 37). Nobody knows when this day, this time will come, “not even the angels in Heaven nor the Son himself, but only the Father” (Mt 24, 36). The fortune tellers will not succeed in giving an estimate. The Son of Man will come as a surprise, when people less expect him (Mt 24, 44). It can be today, it can be tomorrow, that is why the last warning of the parable of the ten Virgins is: “Keep watch!” The ten girls should be prepared for any thing which may happen. When the Nazi Policemen knocked at the door of the Monastery of the Carmelite Sisters of Echt in the Province of Limburgia, in the Netherlands, Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was prepared. She took on the Cross and followed the way to martyrdom in the extermination camp out of love for God and for her people. She was one of the prudent virgins of the parable.

• Matthew 25, 1b-4: The ten virgins ready to wait for the bridegroom. The parable begins like this: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like this: ten wedding attendants took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom”. It is a question of the girls who have to accompany the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Because of this, they have to take the lamps with them, to light the way, and also to render the feast more joyful with more light. Five of them were prudent and five were foolish. This difference is seen in the way in which they prepare themselves for the role that they have to carry out. Together with the lighted lamps, the prudent ones had taken some oil in reserve, preparing themselves in this way for anything which could happen. The foolish ones took only the lamps and they did not think to take some oil in reserve with them.

• Matthew 25, 5-7: The unforeseen delay of the arrival of the bridegroom. The bridegroom was late. He had not indicated precisely the hour of his arrival. While waiting the attendants went to sleep. But the lamps continue to burn and use the oil until gradually they turned off. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, there was a cry: “Look! The bridegroom! Go out and meet him!” All the attendants woke up, and began to prepare their lamps which were burning out. They had to put in some of the oil they had brought in reserve so that the lamps would not burn out.

• Matthew 25, 8-9: The different reactions before the delay of the bridegroom. It is only now that the foolish attendants become aware that they should have brought some oil in reserve with them. They went to ask the prudent ones: “Give us some of your oil, our lamps are going out”. The prudent ones could not respond to this request, because at that moment what was important was not for the prudent ones to share their oil with the foolish ones, but that they would be ready to accompany the bridegroom to the place of the feast. For this reason they advised them: “You had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves”.

• Matthew 25, 10-12: The fate of the prudent attendants and that of the foolish ones. The foolish ones followed the advice of the prudent ones and went to buy some oil. During their brief absence the bridegroom arrived and the prudent ones were able to accompany him and to enter together with him to the wedding feast. But the door was closed behind them. When the others arrived, they knocked at the door and said: “Lord, Lord, open the door for us!” and they received the response: “In truth I tell you, I do not know you”.

• Matthew 25, 13: The final recommendation of Jesus for all of us. The story of this parable is very simple and the lesson is evident: “So stay awake and watch, because you do not know either the day or the hour”. The moral of the story: do not be superficial, look beyond the present moment, and try to discover the call of God even in the smallest things of life, even the oil which may be lacking in the small light or lamp.
 
 
Personal questions
• Has it happened to you sometimes in your life to think about having oil in reserve for your lamp?


Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.



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Saint of the Day:  St. Raymond Nonnatus


Feast Day: August 31
Patron Saint: children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; fever; infants; midwives; newborn babies; obstetricians; pregnant women


St Raymond Nonnatus
Raymond Nonnatus (Catalan: Sant Ramon Nonat, Spanish: San Ramón Nonato, French: Saint Raymond Nonnat, Maltese: San Rajmondo Nonnato) (1204–1240) was a saint from Catalonia in Spain. His surname (Latin: Nonnatus, "not born") refers to his birth by Caesarean section (his mother having died during childbirth). He is the patron saint of childbirth, midwives, children, pregnant women, and priests who want to protect the secrecy of confession.

Life

According to Mercedarian tradition, he was born at Portell (today part of Sant Ramon), in the Diocese of Urgell, and became a member of the Mercedarian Order, founded to ransom Christian captives from the Moors of North Africa. He was ordained a priest in 1222 and later became master-general of the order. He traveled to North Africa and is said to have surrendered himself as a hostage when his money ran out.

He suffered in captivity. A legend states that the Moors bored a hole through his lips with a hot iron, and padlocked his mouth to prevent him from preaching. He was ransomed by his order and in 1239 returned to Spain. He died at Cardona, sixty miles from Barcelona, either on August 26[1] or on August 31, 1240.[2] Many miracles were attributed to him before and after his death.

In the historiography and hagiography from 16th century it is repeatedely claimed that upon his return to Spain in 1239 Pope Gregory IX nominated him Cardinal-Deacon of Sant'Eustachio,[3] and that he died en route to Rome[4] However, Italian historian Agostino Paravicini Bagliani has established that this accounts resulted from a confusion of Raymond Nonnatus with Englishman Robert Somercote, cardinal-deacon of S. Eustachio 1238-1241, and has concluded that St. Raymond was never a cardinal.[5]


Places named in honor of St Raymond

Saint-Raymond, Quebec, in Canada, San Ramón de la Nueva Orán, in Argentina, and São Raimundo Nonato and the Roman Catholic Diocese of São Raimundo Nonato (Raymundianus), in Brazil, are named after him.

Veneration

Altar of Saint Raymond Nonnatus, Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico City
His feast day is on August 31.[6] Because of his limited importance worldwide, his liturgical celebration is no longer included among those to be necessarily commemorated wherever the Roman Rite is celebrated,[7] but, since he is included in the Roman Martyrology for August 31, Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours may be recited in his honor on that day as in the pre-1970 General Roman Calendar, which is observed by some traditionalist Catholics.

One particular ritual is centered around the padlock that is part of his martyrdom. Locks are placed at his altar to stop gossip, rumours, false testimonies and bad talk. They are also used to keep secrets, stop cursing or lying and to guard priests who want to protect the secrecy of confession. After placing a lock the person takes a seat in the main bench, for all to see.[8]


References

  1. ^ C. Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica, vol. I, p. 6
  2. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year, edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., June 1, 1955, p. 344
  3. ^ Cf. Eubel, p. 6
  4. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year, p. 344
  5. ^ Paravicini Bagliani A., Cardinali di Curia e "familae" cardinalizia dal 1227 al 1254, Padova 1972, pt. II, p. 534-535
  6. ^ "Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  7. ^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 137
  8. ^ Plate in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City.
 

Sources

  • Elizabeth Hallam (ed.), "Saints: Who They Are and How They Help You" (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 33.
  • "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year, edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., June 1, 1955, p. 344
  • Patron Saints Index: Saint Raymond Nonnatus
  • Santi e beati: San Raimondo Nonnato (Italian)
  • The Saint of the Day: St Raymond Nonnatus, August 31
  • Catholic Online - Saints & Angels: St Raymond Nonnatus
  • "St. Raymond Nonnatus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  • Praying to Saint Raymond Nonnatus (Polish)
  • Litany to Saint Raymond Nonnatus (Polish)

  
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Today's Snippet :  Mercedarians - Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy

 

Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, 1350 Memmi
The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (or the Order of Merced, O.Merc., Mercedarians, the Order of Captives, or the Order of Our Lady of Ransom) The Royal, Celestial and Military Order of Our Lady of Mercy and the Redemption of the Captives also known as Our Lady of Ransom is a Roman Catholic religious order established in 1218 by St. Peter Nolasco in the city of Barcelona, at that time in the Kingdom of Aragon, for the redemption of Christian captives. One of the distinguishing marks of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy is that, since its foundation, its members are required to take a Fourth Vow to die for another who is in danger of losing their Faith. The Order, which exists today in 17 countries was one of many dozens of associations that sprang up in Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries as institutions of charitable works. The work of the Mercedarians was in ransoming impoverished captive Christians (slaves) held in Muslim hands, especially along the frontier that the Crown of Aragon shared with al-Andalus (Muslim Spain).

Starting before the First Crusade, many hospices and hospitals were organized by the chapters of cathedrals or by the monastic orders. Within the communal organizations of towns, local charitable institutions such as almshouses were established by confraternities or guilds, or by successful individual laymen concerned with the welfare of their souls, but often only local historians are aware of them.

Broader-based and aristocratically-funded charitable institutions were more prominent and are more familiar, and the episodes of aristocratic and even royal ransom and its conditions, were the subject of chronicle and romance. The knights of the original Order of St John—the Knights Hospitaller—and the Templars in their origins are well known, and the impact of their organized charity upon the religious values of the High Middle Ages is more fully estimated in their spheres.

The Order of Merced, however, an early 13th century popular movement of personal piety organized at first by the Catalan Peter Nolasco, was concerned with ransoming the ordinary men who had not the means to negotiate their own ransom, the "poor of Christ." Nolasco and the fraternity that grew around him were motivated by an urban mentality that transcended kith and kin in a broader social consciousness; though they were lay folk, such a movement could only find expression through a specifically Christian form: within its first five or six years the movement was organized into a recognized order of the Church, still in the early 13th century the one transcendent institutional framework in Europe aside from the Papacy. (Brodman 1986).


The Foundation of the Order

St Peter Nolasco, 1st Crusade, founder of Mercedarians
Sources for the origins of the Mercedarians are scant and almost nothing is known of the founder, St. Peter Nolasco. A narrative developed between the fifteenth and early seventeenth centuries that culminated in Nolasco's canonization as a saint in 1628. This is a summary of that narrative. St. Peter Nolasco began his redemptive work (ransoming Christian captives) in 1203.

After fifteen years of admirable mercy in the redemption of Christian captives, Peter Nolasco and his friends were seeing with concern that, instead of decreasing, day by day the number of captives was growing excessively. The determined leader, with a strong personality, clear ideas, a strong faith, a solid and balanced devotion to Christ and to his Blessed Mother, a compassionate heart, a serene and resolute trust in God, Peter Nolasco did not feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the mission undertaken and his own insignificance. In his fervent prayer, he sought divine inspiration to be able to continue God’s work which he had started. At that point and in these circumstances, during the night of August 1, 1218, a special intervention of Blessed Mary occurred in Peter Nolasco’s life: an amazing Marian experience which illumined his mind and stirred up his will to transform his group of lay redeemers into a Redemptive Religious Order which, with the Church’s approbation and the protection of the Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon , would pursue the great work of mercy which had started
.
On the next day, Peter Nolasco went to the royal palace to explain his project to young Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon, James I and his advisers, the first of whom was the Bishop of Barcelona, don Berenguer de Palou. Peter’s plan, inspired by God through Mary, was to establish a well-structured and stable Redemptive Religious Order under the patronage of Blessed Mary. The proposal pleased the king and his advisers since, after the failed attempt by Alfonso II with the Order of the Holy Redeemer which did not prosper, the noble aspiration of the royal house of Aragon to have its own redemptive order was becoming a reality.

On August 10, 1218, the new religious order for the Redemption of Captives was officially and solemnly constituted at the main altar erected over Saint Eulalia's tomb in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (also known as the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia) in Barcelona. Bishop Berenguer de Palou gave Peter Nolasco and his companions the white habit that they would wear as characteristic of the Order; he gave them the Rule of Saint Augustine as a norm for their life in common and he gave his authorization for the sign of his cathedral, the Holy Cross, to be on the habit of the Order. After that, Peter Nolasco and the first Mercedarians made their religious profession right there before the bishop.

For his part, King James I the Conqueror established the Order as an institution recognized by the civil law of his kingdom. In the very act of the foundation and as an important rite of the ceremony, the monarch gave the Mercedarian friars the habit which, in the language of military orders, is the shield with four red stripes over a gold background, that is to say, the sign of the king himself. Along with the cross of the cathedral, this emblem would form the Order’s own shield. On that memorable day, James I endowed the Order, of which he considered himself the founder with the Hospital of Saint Eulalia which served as the first Mercedarian convent and as a house of welcome for redeemed captives.

Reconstructing the Order's beginnings from the documentary record produces a far less detailed story. In this the year 1218 plays no role. The founder first appears ca. 1226 as a collector of alms in Perpignan. By 1230 he is collecting alms for captives in Barcelona as the head of a small laic confraternity. During the next six years, this confraternity slowly evolves into a religious order as members obtain properties in Catalonia and in the newly conquered, frontier regions of Mallorca and Valencia. In 1236, Pope Gregory IX granted the Mercedarians formal recognition as a religious order under the Rule of St. Augustine. The small order gained additional members, property and support in the 1250s and 1260s. While evidenve is scant, one has to assume that this support came in recognition of the Order's work in ransoming captives in a war zone that remained quite active. The growing pains, however, also caused institutional turmoil, whose outlines can only be glimpsed. The visible result was a reorganization in 1272 by a new master, Pere d'Amer. James I, whose descendants claimed him to be the Mercedarian founder, had in fact no documentable contact with the Order until the late 1230s and early 1240s, at which time he granted formerly Muslim lands in Valencia, especially the Shrine of Santa Maria del Puig. It was not until the 1250s that royal patronage becomes evident, when the king granted the Order his guidaticum (a form of diplomatic protection), economic privileges that promoted gifts to the Order, and, at least temporarily, the important shrine of St. Vincent in the City of Valencia. Claims by King James II and Peter IV of a royal foundation of the Order reflected not real history but their own designs upon the Order's financial resources and personnel.

In the proem of the first Constitutions of the Mercedarian Order of 1272, three very important elements referring to the foundation stand out: the name, the founder and the purpose of the Order.

The name with which the Order founded by Peter Nolasco is identified, is mentioned first. Prior to the 1272 Constitutions, the Order had several names among which: Order of Saint Eulalia, Order of the Mercy of Captives, Order of the Redemption of Captives, Order of Mercy. But the proper and definitive title is: Order of the Virgin Mary of Mercy of the Redemption of Captives.

Then it is stated that Brother Peter Nolasco has been constituted "servant, messenger, founder and promoter" of the new Institute. Peter Nolasco is the real founder of the Order or the "Procurator of the alms of captives" as defined on March 28, 1219, by the first document referring to him after the foundation.
Finally, it is clearly specified that the purpose of the Order is "to visit and to free Christians who are in captivity and in power of the Saracens or of other enemies of our Law… By this work of mercy… all the brothers of this Order, as sons of true obedience, must always be gladly disposed to give up their lives, if it is necessary, as Jesus Christ gave up his for us."

All these valuable and reliable historical details of the foundation of the Order of Mercy are gathered in the letter of January 11, 1358, sent by Peter IV of Aragon the Ceremonious to Pope Innocent VI and kept to this day in the Archives of the Aragon Crown, a reliable guarantee of all the Mercedarian history of the first centuries.

With the solemn and official support of the Church and of the state, Peter Nolasco and his friars, constituted as a Redemptive Religious Order of lay brothers, gained new energy and, with renewed fervor, they continued their peregrinations of charity to collect alms for the redemption of captives in Saracen lands.


The Fourth Vow

Fourth Vow, 1694, Zurbaran; La Virgen de las Cuevas
Some Orders and Congregations, besides the three vows of religion, add particular vows. These additional vows are part of the nature of the profession of each Order and are permitted by the Church. They can be solemn or simple, perpetual or temporary. The Fourth Vow of the Order of Mercy is a Solemn Vow. In accordance with the general principle of a vow, it is an act of the will and an authentic promise in which the reason for the vow is perfection. It also presupposes a sincere will of obligation in conscience and by virtue of the community.





The Fourth Vow in the Various Constitutions of the Order

  • In the First Constitutions of the Order, the Amerian Constitutions (1272): "... all the brothers of the Order must always be gladly disposed to give up their lives, if it is necessary, as Jesus Christ gave up his for us..."
  • The Albertine Constitutions (1327): "Chapter 28: Surrender of one’s life as hostage in Saracen Territory."
  • The Zumelian Constitutions (1588): "I will be obedient to you and your successors up to death; and I will remain in person in the power of the Saracens if it be necessary for the Redemption of Christ’s Faithful."
  • The Madrilene Constitutions (1692) and the Roman Constitutions (1895): "Therefore, we must understand in the first place, that all our religious are committed to the Redemption of Captives in such a way that they must not only always be disposed to carry it out in fact if the Order sends them, but also to collect alms, or if the prelates do select them, to do whatever else may be necessary for the act of redemption to be carried out."
    1. Also in the Madrilene Constitutions: "We declare that this vow is essential because it inseparably constitutes our Order in its nature and substance by virtue of the early institution… and our predecessors have always professed and fulfilled it."
  • The Constitutions and Norms (1970): "The Mercedarian, urged by Charity, dedicated himself to God by a particular vow in virtue of which he promises to give his own life, if it will be necessary, as Christ did for us, to free from the new forms of slavery the Christians who are in danger of losing their Faith."
  • The Aquarian Constitutions (1986): "In order to fulfill this mission we, impelled by love, consecrate ourselves to God with a special vow, by virtue of which we promise to give up our lives, as Christ gave his life for us, should it be necessary, in order to save those Christians who find themselves in extreme danger of losing their faith by new forms of captivity."

References

  1. ^ Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 525
  2. ^ Mary's Praise on Every Tongue: A Record of Homage Paid to Our Blessed Lady by Chandlery Peter Joseph 2009 ISBN 1-113-16154-X page 181

 

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  Fall Series - Crusades:  The Third Crusade (1189-1192)



Third Crusade
The Third Crusade (1189–1192), also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin (Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb). It was largely successful, but fell short of its ultimate goal—the reconquest of Jerusalem.

After the failure of the Second Crusade, the Zengid dynasty controlled a unified Syria and engaged in a conflict with the Fatimid rulers of Egypt, which ultimately resulted in the unification of Egyptian and Syrian forces under the command of Saladin, who employed them to reduce the Christian states and to recapture Jerusalem in 1187. Spurred by religious zeal, Henry II of England and Philip II of France ended their conflict with each other to lead a new crusade (although Henry's death in 1189 put the English contingent under the command of Richard Lionheart instead). The elderly Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa responded to the call to arms, and led a massive army across Anatolia, but drowned in a river in Asia Minor on June 10, 1190, before reaching the Holy Land. His death caused the greatest grief among the German Crusaders. Most of his discouraged troops left to go home.

After driving the Muslims from Acre, Frederick's successor Leopold V of Austria and Philip left the Holy Land in August 1191. Saladin failed to defeat Richard in any military engagements, and Richard secured several more key coastal cities. Nevertheless, on September 2, 1192, Richard finalized a treaty with Saladin by which Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control, but which also allowed unarmed Christian pilgrims and merchants to visit the city. Richard departed the Holy Land on October 9. The successes of the Third Crusade would allow the Crusaders to maintain a considerable kingdom based in Cyprus and the Syrian coast. However, its failure to recapture Jerusalem would lead to the call for a Fourth Crusade six years later.

Background

Muslim unification

After the failure of the Second Crusade, Nur ad-Din Zangi had control of Damascus and a unified Syria.
Eager to expand his power, Nur ad-Din set his sights on the Fatimid dynasty of Egypt. In 1163, Nur ad-Din's most trusted general, Shirkuh set out on a military expedition to the Nile. Accompanying the general was his young nephew, Saladin.

With Shirkuh's troops camped outside of Cairo, Egypt's sultan, Shawar called on King Amalric I of Jerusalem for assistance. In response, Amalric sent an army into Egypt and attacked Shirkuh's troops at Bilbeis in 1164.

In an attempt to divert Crusader attention from Egypt, Nur ad-Din attacked Antioch, resulting in a massacre of Christian soldiers and the capture of several Crusader leaders, including Bohemond III, Prince of Antioch. Nur ad-Din sent the scalps of the Christian defenders to Egypt for Shirkuh to proudly display at Bilbeis for Amalric's soldiers to see. This action prompted both Amalric and Shirkuh to lead their armies out of Egypt.
In 1167, Nur ad-Din once again sent Shirkuh to conquer the Fatimids in Egypt. Shawar also opted to once again call upon Amalric for the defence of his territory. The combined Egyptian-Christian forces pursued Shirkuh until he retreated to Alexandria.

Amalric then breached his alliance with Shawar by turning his forces on Egypt and besieging the city of Bilbeis. Shawar pleaded with his former enemy, Nur ad-Din to save him from Amalric's treachery. Lacking the resources to maintain a prolonged siege of Cairo against the combined forces of Nur ad-Din and Shawar, Amalric retreated. This new alliance gave Nur ad-Din rule over virtually all of Syria and Egypt.


Saladin's conquests

Saladin's battles in Egypt
Shawar was executed for his alliances with the Christian forces, and Shirkuh succeeded him as vizier of Egypt. In 1169, Shirkuh died unexpectedly after only weeks of rule. Shirkuh's successor was his nephew, Salah ad-Din Yusuf, commonly known as Saladin. Nur ad-Din died in 1174, leaving the new empire to his 11-year old son, As-Salih. It was decided that the only man competent enough to uphold the jihad against the Franks was Saladin, who became sultan of both Egypt and Syria, and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.

Amalric also died in 1174, leaving Jerusalem to his 13-year old son, Baldwin IV. Although Baldwin suffered from leprosy, he was an effective and active military commander, defeating Saladin at the battle of Montgisard in 1177, with support from Raynald of Châtillon, who had been released from prison in 1176. Later, he forged an agreement with Saladin to allow free trade between Muslim and Christian territories. Raynald also raided caravans throughout the region. He expanded his piracy to the Red Sea by sending galleys not only to raid ships, but to assault the city of Mecca itself. These acts enraged the Muslim world, giving Raynald a reputation as the most hated man in the Middle East.

Baldwin IV died in 1185 and the kingdom was left to his nephew Baldwin V, whom he had crowned as co-king in 1183. Raymond III of Tripoli again served as regent. The following year, Baldwin V died before his ninth birthday, and his mother Princess Sybilla, sister of Baldwin IV, crowned herself queen and her husband, Guy of Lusignan, king.  It was at this time that Raynald, once again, raided a rich caravan and had its travelers thrown in prison. Saladin demanded that the prisoners and their cargo be released. The newly crowned King Guy appealed to Raynald to give in to Saladin's demands, but Raynald refused to follow the king's orders.


Siege of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

The Near East, c. 1190, at the outset of the Third Crusade.
It was this final act of outrage by Raynald which gave Saladin the opportunity he needed to take the offensive against the kingdom. He laid siege to the city of Tiberias in 1187. Raymond advised patience, but King Guy, acting on advice from Raynald, marched his army to the Horns of Hattin outside of Tiberias.

The Frankish army, thirsty and demoralized, was destroyed in the ensuing battle. King Guy and Raynald were brought to Saladin's tent, where Guy was offered a goblet of water because of his great thirst . Guy took a drink and then passed the goblet to Raynald. Saladin would not be forced to protect the treacherous Raynald by allowing him to drink, as it was custom that if you were offered a drink, your life was safe. When Raynald accepted the drink, Saladin told his interpreter, "say to the King: 'it is you who have given him to drink'".[3] Afterwards, Saladin beheaded Raynald for past betrayals. Saladin honored tradition with King Guy; Guy was sent to Damascus and eventually ransomed to his people, one of the few captive crusaders to avoid execution.

By the end of the year, Saladin had taken Acre and Jerusalem. Pope Urban III is said to have collapsed and died upon hearing the news.[4] However, at the time of his death, the news of the fall of Jerusalem could not yet have reached him, although he knew of the battle of Hattin and the fall of Acre.

Preparations

The new pope, Gregory VIII proclaimed that the capture of Jerusalem was punishment for the sins of Christians across Europe. The cry went up for a new crusade to the Holy Land. Henry II of England and Philip II of France ended their war with each other, and both imposed a "Saladin tithe" on their citizens to finance the venture. In Britain, Baldwin of Exeter, the archbishop of Canterbury, made a tour through Wales, convincing 3,000 men-at-arms to take up the cross, recorded in the Itinerary of Giraldus Cambrensis.


Barbarossa's crusade

The elderly Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa responded to the call immediately. He took up the Cross at Mainz Cathedral on March 27, 1188 and was the first to set out for the Holy Land in May 1189 with an army of about 100,000 men, including 20,000 knights.[2] An army of 2,000 men from the Hungarian prince Géza, the younger brother of the king Béla III of Hungary also went with Barbarossa to the Holy Land.[5]

The Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelus made a secret alliance with Saladin to impede Frederick's progress in exchange for his empire's safety. Meanwhile, the Sultanate of Rum promised Frederick safety through Anatolia, but after much raiding Frederick lost patience and on May 18, 1190, the German army sacked Iconium, the capital of the Sultanate of Rüm. Nevertheless Frederick's horse slipped on June 10, 1190, while crossing the Saleph River throwing him against the rocks. He then drowned in the river. After this, much of his army returned to Germany, in anticipation of the upcoming Imperial election. His son Frederick of Swabia led the remaining 5,000 men to Antioch. There, the emperor's body was boiled to remove the flesh, which was interred in the Church of St. Peter; his bones were put in a bag to continue the crusade. In Antioch, however, the German army was further reduced by fever. Young Frederick had to ask the assistance of his kinsman Conrad of Montferrat to lead him safely to Acre, by way of Tyre, where his father's bones were buried.

Richard and Philip's departure

Henry II of England died on July 6, 1189 following a defeat by his son Richard I (Lionheart) and Philip II. Richard inherited the crown and immediately began raising funds for the crusade. In July 1190, Richard and Philip set out jointly from Marseille, France for Sicily. Philip II had hired a Genoese fleet to transport his army which consisted of 650 knights, 1,300 horses, and 1,300 squires to the Holy Land.[2]

William II of Sicily had died the previous year, and was replaced by Tancred, who placed Joan of England—William's wife and Richard's sister—in prison. Richard captured the capital city of Messina on October 4, 1190 and Joan was released. Richard and Philip fell out over the issue of Richard's marriage, as Richard had decided to marry Berengaria of Navarre, breaking off his long-standing betrothal to Philip's half-sister Alys. Philip left Sicily directly for the Middle East on March 30, 1191, and arrived in Tyre in mid-May. He joined the siege of Acre on May 20. Richard did not set off from Sicily until April 10.

Shortly after setting sail from Sicily, Richard's armada of 100 ships (carrying 8,000 men) was struck by a violent storm. Several ships ran aground, including one holding Joan, his new fiancée Berengaria, and a large amount of treasure that had been amassed for the crusade. It was soon discovered that Isaac Dukas Comnenus of Cyprus had seized the treasure. The young women were unharmed. Richard entered Limassol on May 6, and met with Isaac, who agreed to return Richard's belongings and send 500 of his soldiers to the Holy Land. Once back at his fortress of Famagusta, Isaac broke his oath of hospitality and began issuing orders for Richard to leave the island. Isaac's arrogance prompted Richard to conquer the island within days.

Siege of Acre

King Guy was released from prison by Saladin in 1189. He attempted to take command of the Christian forces at Tyre, but Conrad of Montferrat held power there after his successful defence of the city from Muslim attacks. Guy turned his attention to the wealthy port of Acre. He amassed an army to besiege the city and received aid from Philip's newly arrived French army. However, it was still not enough to counter Saladin's force, which besieged the besiegers. In summer 1190, in one of the numerous outbreaks of disease in the camp, Queen Sibylla and her young daughters died. Guy, although only king by right of marriage, endeavoured to retain his crown, although the rightful heir was Sibylla's half-sister Isabella. After a hastily arranged divorce from Humphrey IV of Toron, Isabella was married to Conrad of Montferrat, who claimed the kingship in her name.

During the winter of 1190–91, there were further outbreaks of dysentery and fever, which claimed the lives of Frederick of Swabia, Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem, and Theobald V of Blois. When the sailing season began again in spring 1191, Leopold V of Austria arrived and took command of what remained of the imperial forces. Philip of France arrived with his troops from Sicily in May.

Richard arrived at Acre on June 8, 1191 and immediately began supervising the construction of siege weapons to assault the city. The city was captured on July 12.

Richard, Philip, and Leopold quarreled over the spoils of their victory. Richard cast down the German standard from the city, slighting Leopold. Also, in the struggle for the kingship of Jerusalem, Richard supported Guy, while Philip and Leopold supported Conrad, who was related to them both. It was decided that Guy would continue to rule, but that Conrad would receive the crown upon his death.

Frustrated with Richard (and in Philip's case, in poor health), Philip and Leopold took their armies and left the Holy Land in August. Philip left 10,000 French crusaders in the Holy Land and 5,000 silver marks to pay them.

Despite the treaty at Acre, Richard had the garrison (including women and children) massacred in full view of Saladin's camp. Not one prisoner could be saved in the subsequent effort Saladin made to rescue them by military force.[6]

Battle of Arsuf

After the capture of Acre, Richard decided to march to the city of Jaffa, where he could launch the attack on Jerusalem but on September 7, 1191, at Arsuf, 30 miles (50 km) north of Jaffa, Saladin attacked Richard's army. Saladin attempted to lure Richard's forces out to be easily picked off, but Richard maintained his formation until the Hospitallers rushed in to take Saladin's right flank, while the Templars took the left. Richard then won the battle.


Regicide and negotiations

Following his victory, Richard took Jaffa and established his new headquarters there. He offered to begin negotiations with Saladin, who sent his brother, Al-Adil to meet with Richard. Negotiations (which had included an attempt to marry Richard's sister Joan to Al-Adil) failed, and Richard marched to Ascalon. Richard's forces were halted nearly 12 times by the forces of Saladin commanded by Ayaz al-Tawil a powerful Mamluk leader, who died in combat.[7]

Richard called on Conrad to join him on campaign, but he refused, citing Richard's alliance with King Guy. He too had been negotiating with Saladin, as a defence against any attempt by Richard to wrest Tyre from him for Guy. However, in April, Richard was forced to accept Conrad as king of Jerusalem after an election by the nobles of the kingdom. Guy had received no votes at all, but Richard sold him Cyprus as compensation. Before he could be crowned, Conrad was stabbed to death by two Hashshashin in the streets of Tyre. Eight days later, Richard's nephew Henry II of Champagne married Queen Isabella, who was pregnant with Conrad's child. It was strongly suspected that the king's killers had acted on instructions from Richard.

In July 1192, Saladin's army suddenly attacked and captured Jaffa with thousands of men, but Saladin had lost control of his army because of their anger for the massacre at Acre. It was believed that Saladin even told the Crusaders to shield themselves in the Citadel until he had regained control of his army.

On September 2, 1192, Richard and Saladin finalized a treaty by which Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control, but which also allowed unarmed Christian pilgrims and traders to visit the city. Richard departed the Holy Land on October 9.


Aftermath

The Levant after the Third Crusade in 1200.
 Neither side was entirely discontent nor satisfied with the results of the war. Though Richard had deprived the Muslims of important coastal territories as a result of his consistent victories over Saladin, many Christians in the Latin West felt disappointed that he had elected not to pursue Jerusalem.[8] Likewise, many in the Islamic world felt disturbed that Saladin had failed to drive the Christians out of Syria and Palestine. Trade, however, flourished throughout the Middle East and in port cities along the Mediterranean coastline.[9]

Saladin's servant and biographer Baha al-Din recounted Saladin's distress at the successes of the Crusaders:
'I fear to make peace, not knowing what may become of me. Our enemy will grow strong, now that they have retained these lands. They will come forth to recover the rest of their lands and you will see every one of them ensconced on his hill-top,' meaning in his castle, 'having announced, “I shall stay put” and the Muslims will be ruined.' These were his words and it came about as he said.[10]
Richard was arrested and imprisoned in December 1192 by Duke Leopold, who suspected him of murdering his cousin Conrad of Montferrat, and had been offended by Richard casting down his standard from the walls of Acre. He was later transferred to the custody of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, and it took a ransom of one hundred and fifty thousand marks to obtain his release. Richard returned to England in 1194 and died of a crossbow bolt wound in 1199 at the age of 41.

In 1193, Saladin died of yellow fever. His heirs would quarrel over the succession and ultimately fragment his conquests.

Henry of Champagne was killed in an accidental fall in 1197. Queen Isabella then married for a fourth time, to Amalric of Lusignan, who had succeeded his brother Guy, positioned as King of Cyprus. After their deaths in 1205, her eldest daughter Maria of Montferrat (born after her father's murder) succeeded to the throne of Jerusalem.

Richard's decision not to attack Jerusalem would lead to the call for a Fourth Crusade six years after the third ended in 1192. However, Richard's victories facilitated the survival of a wealthy Crusader kingdom centered on Acre. Historian Thomas Madden summarizes the achievements of the Third Crusade:
...the Third Crusade was by almost any measure a highly successful expedition. Most of Saladin's victories in the wake of Hattin were wiped away. The Crusader kingdom was healed of its divisions, restored to its coastal cities, and secured in a peace with its greatest enemy. Although he had failed to reclaim Jerusalem, Richard had put the Christians of the Levant back on their feet again.[11]
Accounts of events surrounding the Third Crusade were written by the anonymous authors of the Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi (a.k.a. the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi), the Old French Continuation of William of Tyre (parts of which are attributed to Ernoul), and by Ambroise, Roger of Howden, Ralph of Diceto, and Giraldus Cambrensis.


References

  1. ^ H. Chisholm, The Encyclopædia Britannica : A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 294
  2. J. Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, 66
  3. ^ Lyons, Malcom Cameron and D. E. P. Jackson, Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 264.
  4. ^ Hans E. Mayer, The Crusades. Oxford University Press, 1965 (trans. John Gillingham, 1972), pg. 139.
  5. ^ A. Konstam, Historical Atlas of The Crusades, 124
  6. ^ Marshall Hodgson, The Venture of Islam Conscience and History in a World Civilization Vol 2. The University of Chicago, 1958, pg. 267.
  7. ^ "The Life of Saladin Behaudin Tekstualno". Scribd.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  8. ^ Procter, George (‏1854). History of the crusades: their rise, progress, and results‏. R. Griffin and Co.. pp. 112–116.
  9. ^ Crompton‏, Samuel Willard (2003). The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted vs. Saladin. Great battles through the ages. Infobase Publishing‏. p. 64. ISBN 0-7910-7437-4.
  10. ^ al-Din, Baha; D.S. Richards (2002). The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin. Crusade Texts in Translation. 7 (1 ed.). Burlington, VT; Hampshire, England: Ashgate. p. 232. ISBN 0-7546-3381-0.
  11. ^ Madden, Thomas (2006). The New Concise History of the Crusades. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-7425-3823-8.
 
Bibliography
  • Beha-ed-Din, The Life of Saladin.
  • De Expugnatione Terrae Sanctae per Saladinum, translated by James A. Brundage, in The Crusades: A Documentary Survey. Marquette University Press, 1962.
  • La Continuation de Guillaume de Tyr (1184–1192), edited by Margaret Ruth Morgan. L'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1982.
  • Ambroise, The History of the Holy War, translated by Marianne Ailes. Boydell Press, 2003.
  • Chronicle of the Third Crusade, a Translation of Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, translated by Helen J. Nicholson. Ashgate, 1997.
  • Peter W. Edbury, The Conquest of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade: Sources in Translation. Ashgate, 1996.
  • Francesco Gabrieli, (ed.) Arab Historians of the Crusades, English translation 1969, ISBN 0-520-05224-2
  • Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades, vol. II: The Kingdom of Jerusalem, and vol. III: The Kingdom of Acre. Cambridge University Press, 1952–55.
  • Lucas Villegas Aristizabal, "Revisión de las crónicas de Ralph de Diceto y de la Gesta regis Ricardi sobre la participación de la flota angevina durante la Tercera Cruzada en Portugal", Studia Historica- Historia Medieval 27 (2009), pp. 153–170.


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